The Importance of Employee Decompression
I’m almost certain that you’re familiar with it – one of those days…the kind where time seems to stand still. For every hour that you think has passed, your desk phone makes the painful reveal that it’s only five minutes later since the last time you checked. You’re either sleepy, anxious, low-energy, or a bit irritated because for every task you cross off your list another fifteen somehow make it onto your growing roster of priorities. Moreover, deadlines seem to creep about like an ominous gathering storm, and you don’t have an umbrella! Though time has seemingly stopped, there’s still never enough and you develop an insatiable need to do what many have come to know as “woosah”—calm down; take a break; chill out; get it together.
Contrary to popular (yet inaccurate) understanding, that’s exactly what companies want their employees to do.
In recent years, employers have put action into plans to help employees “chill out” in order to increase productivity and prevent employee burnout. It may sound counterproductive, but many studies have shown that allowing time for employees to “reset” actually increases workflow and reduces the chances for employee turnaround and presenteeism—being physically present but mentally checked out for a variety of reasons, both of which can ultimately cost employers a substantial amount of money.
Luckily, to counter the slow burnout plaguing many workers (whether the employer or employee), measures have been put into place that help keep the “fire” going. According to the article “Can a Little Relaxation Increase Your Employees Productivity?” as published on www.workology.com, suggestions for employee reset include encouraging team members to:
- Take a nap: preferably in nap rooms provided by the company, seeing as a lack of sleep leads to poor performance, which can result in a net loss of $63.2 billion in dropped productivity per year.
- Take longer vacations: workers tend to feel better and more productive after a break from the daily grind.
- Step away from the desk: consider scheduling weekly outings as well, as to step away in order to see things more clearly.
Other suggestions, as reported on www.getwindfall.com, advises employers to:
- Provide a space for employees to relax: giving employees a place to unwind when things get overwhelming is a great way to reduce stress around the office.
- Change the function of your break room: provide a space that is conducive to relaxation with amenities such as beanbag chairs, TVs, and anything else employees would value.
- Encourage daydreaming: whether in a break room or game room, allow them space to be creative.
- Create a social space: giving staff a space to hang out with their coworkers is a great way to increase collaboration among employees. Encouraging interaction with other colleagues can increase creativity and create a stronger bond within the workplace.
In light of these suggestions, PreGel incorporates many of the suggested elements listed above, and goes a sweeter step further with The Scoop—a weekly gelato, ice cream, or pastry social, where employees gather to decompress, socialize, and have a midday treat.
As explained by Lynne Lee, human resources, PreGel America, The Scoop is a way to “Showcase our products so that, (1) we can familiarize ourselves with our wonderful ingredients (what better way than to sample them!); (2) to spend time with our colleagues and socialize a bit; and (3) allow each department an opportunity to serve the items during The Scoop and help our chefs in return.” Lee also emphasizes that The Scoop is a great morale booster as well.
Indeed, employee decompression is a necessary thing in today’s busy workplace. So it’s important to take into account the mental, emotional, and in some cases, physical well-being of your team, because a well-oiled machine works best when all of its parts are performing at optimum level.